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Reviews183 Fernández-Ordónez, Inés, Ed. Alfonso X el sabio y las crónicas de España. Valladolid: Universidad de Valladolid-Centro para la Edición de los Clásicos Españoles, 2000. 283 pp. ISBN 84-8448-096-8 It is salutary to remember that it is only a few years short of a century since Ramón Menéndez Pidal effectively inaugurated the modern era of the study of Alfonsine historiography with his edition of what he then called the Primera crónica general (Menéndez Pidal 1906), and exactly forty since his grandson Diego Catalán revolutionized the field with the publication of four essays under the collective title De Alfonso X al conde de Barcelos (Catalán 1962). In the ensuing years work has continued in ever-widening circles, much of it under the auspices of the Instituto Universitario "Seminario Menéndez Pidal", directed by Catalán in the 1980s. Not only the editor of this volume, but also three of her collaborators - Maria del Mar de Bustos, Mariano de la Campa, and Juan Bautista Crespo - are products of this fruitful exercise in teamwork; and to them are joined five other scholars Samuel G. Armistead, Giuseppe di Stefano, Fernando Gómez Redondo, Peter Linehan and Georges Martin, all of them with solid credentials in the field. It is interesting and encouraging that four countries are represented as well as Spain itself, ample testimony to the way in which work in this field is both being done outside Spain, and appreciated within it. The volume is a partial edition of the Proceedings of a Seminar held in 1997 under the joint auspices of the Centro para la Edición de los Clásicos Españoles and the Fundación Duques de Soria. Fernández-Ordóñez's introductory essay or "Presentación" (9-18) sets the scene by giving a general overview of the problems in the field of Alfonsine historiography, together with an attempt to define the nature of each contributor's work within the overall context of seeking to "presentar un estado de la cuestión sobre los progresos alcanzados en la investigación de la Esloria de España alfonsi" (10). Let me begin with the "outsiders", the non-members of the Seminario. Each has contributed a piece in the part of the field he has made his own. Linehan writes on the debt of the Alfonsine chronicles to the previous work of el Tudense and el Toledano, and as the author of the most ambitious work to date on the historiography of medieval Spain (Linehan 1993) he is well placed to do so. Comparing the essentially Leonese perspective of Lucas of fuy with the more local interests of Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada ("siguió un plan propio, basado ... en la promoción y en la prosperidad de la iglesia de La corónica 31.1 (Fall, 2002): 183-87 184ReviewsLa corónica 31.1, 2002 Toledo", 31), Linehan concentrates on a number of cases in which the preoccupations of Alfonso's reign - and especially its troubled final years - may have had a strong influence on the preference shown by his chroniclers between their two principal sources. Georges Martin's contribution, entitled "El modelo historiográfico alfonsi y sus antecedentes" is probably the most sophisticated theoretically of the essays in this book, as might be expected from the author of a book whose subtitle contains the words "mentalités et discours historique" (Martin 1992). Here his starting point is the distinction between intentio, inventio and dispositio (or 'purpose', 'subject matter' and 'organization'). Each is considered in turn, and the conclusions deserve to be quoted. Intentio, the first great characteristic of the Alfonsine model is for Martin, "la participación del saber histórico en una amplia concepción científica de lo político por parte de la corona y en el proyecto de subordinar a las élites del reino al ideario de la realeza" (42-43). Inventio, after listing the obvious points of the breadth of the sources employed, the care with which they are presented and subjected to commentary, is "el vaivén entre hechos pasados y acontecimientos presentes, el...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 183-187
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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